Aberdeen Finch
PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. Aberdeen finch
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  • Scientific Name:  Amadina erythrocephala
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  2..  A. e. erythrocephala,  A. e. dissita, 
  • Origin / Distribution:  Lower portion of Africa
  • Habitat In Wild:  Dry open country and have adapted to farmlands and urban areas.
  • Status In Wild:  ?
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Secure
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  about 12 months.
  • Adult plumage: after the first moult.
  • Best breeding years (estimate):  2nd - 8th.
  • Lifespan (estimate):  Long lived for a finch, 9 or more years.
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic The hen lacks the red head colouring of the cock bird.
  • Mutations:  No
  • Availability:  Bird dealers
  • Temperament:  The Aberdeen finch is less aggressive than the Cut throat finch.  They are hardy birds and generally an easy bird to house and breed.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $120
  • Description Of Adults: Closely related to the Cut throat finch and similar in appearance.
  1. Length: Approx. 130 mm (or approx  5 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 26 - 27 gms (or approx  1 oz)
Aviary Notes:

Read notes on "Finches - Non Australian" web page and use in conjunction with details outlined on this page.

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-Laws:  Refer to "Government Laws" page.

Housing Requirements:  Click on "Housing birds" web page for general details on the housing of Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

Although they can be kept with other finches, only one pair of Aberdeen's should be housed per aviary.  They breed well as a colony.  They can be housed and bred in a wide range of aviaries.  Large planted aviaries down to small aviaries and large canary style cages are acceptable.  A planted aviary of about 2000mm long x 900mm x 2100mm high (6.5 x 3 x 7 feet) will house several pairs.

Aberdeen finches must not be housed with Cut Throat finches so there is no chance of hybridizing.  They may be aggressive to smaller species of finches.

Other than for feeding and drinking, they do not spend much time at ground level.  They like tall grasses and shrubs in their aviary.

If space allows, the pairs of Aberdeen finches can be separated during the non breeding season and reintroduced about one month prior to breeding season.  Try and maintain the same partners as the previous season for good proven pairs.

Diet / Feeding:  Click on "Feeding birds" web page for general details on the nutrition of  Non Australian Finches or read on for specific details for this finch.

The Aberdeen finch requires a good quality finch mix, seeding grasses, some fruits (e.g. apple) and some green leafy vegetables.  Live food is essential during the breeding season.  Mealworms, crickets and small locusts are ideal.  Sprouted or soaked seed if available.

Basic seed mix should include Canary seed, White French Millet, Japanese Millet, and Yellow and Red Panicum.

Nesting:  A basic overview only.

  • Roosting nest: Yes / No
  • Nesting months:
  • Nesting receptacles:  Will build a nest in a shrub or dry brush.  Equally it will build a nest in a wide variety of artificial nests.  In a breeding cage they will use a wooden nest box.  They are sometimes poor nest builders and may require an artificial nest e.g. wooden nest box or wicker nest to be successful.  Some owners partially fill the nest receptacle with dry grasses and allow the birds to finish the nest and line the nest with white feathers and soft grasses.
  • Nest:  Both parents build the nest.  The nest is lined with feathers and soft fine grasses.
  • Who incubates the eggs: Hen / cock / both share.

The Aberdeen finch will use nests abandoned by other birds.  Adequate spare nest receptacles must be available for pairs nesting in artificial nests before the current clutch leave the nest.  Aberdeen finches have poor nest hygiene so a new nest is required for each clutch.  Adequate new nest material must be available for the birds to build a new nest for the next clutch.

More details on finch nests and a selection of finch nest photos can be located on the "nests", "finch nests" and "finch nest photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "nests" then "finch nests" and "finch nests photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year  3 - 4.  Eggs per nest  3 - 6.  Incubation approx. 14 days.  Fledge approx. 21 days.  Independent approx. another 3 - 4 weeks.

The Aberdeen finch will hybridize with the Cut throat finch.  Although they can be kept with other finches, only one pair of Aberdeen's should be housed per aviary.  Spare adult birds should not be housed with breeding pairs.  Breeding pairs are territorial so adequate space must be left between nest sites to minimize the risk of territorial aggression.

Moderate nest inspection is generally tolerated especially in birds housed in cages.  In an aviary it is generally safe to leave the young in the same aviary after they become fully independent.  Young birds (when they become fully independent) must be removed when bred in a cage.

Artificial incubation, hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.  Refer "Specific References" as listed below and "General References" listings.

Health Issues:  Refer  "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new birds or sick birds are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer above option - "Avian Health Issues" web page.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Specific References:

  • Australian Aviculture
  • A/A Vol 55 No. 6 Jun 2001 Page 129-132 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 38 No. 4 Apr 1984 Page 80-81 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 28 No. 12 Dec 1974 Page 187-188 (Inc photo)
  • A/A Vol 27 No. 2 Feb 1973 Page 22-25
  • A/A Vol 24 No. 2 Feb 1970 Page 22-24.
  • A/A Vol 20 No 6 Jun 1966 Page 85, 88-89 (Inc colour plate).
  • A/A Vol 18 No 2 Feb 1964 Page 24-25.
  • Australian Birdkeeper

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